13 December 2018
TDSAT dismisses TRAI Tariff Order on predatory pricing due to lack of "transparency"
In a relief to Telecom Operators, The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) vide its Order dated 13.12.2018 dismissed the telecom regulator's order dated February 16, 2018 on predatory pricing due to lack of "transparency". The Order stated in as many words that any Regulation that calls for a pricing below Average Variable Cost for any operator having over 30% market share is without cogent basis and the same will be discriminatory against existing Operators. The Ld. TDSAT also pointed out that new entrants in the market may avail offers such as those availed by JIO and thus the present Tariff Order is without strong basis. The relevant extract of the Order is reproduced herein for the sake of clarity and understanding- “To allow freedom from requirement of non-predation till acquisition of 30 per cent of total activity in a given market prima facie appears to be an extreme step and unnecessary abdication of its regulatory powers by TRAI in the context of tariff conditions and their enforcement,"